Rewind 12 months ago and I could barely run 5km without collapsing on the ground looking like I was about to die afterwards (no joke). In August I ran my third half marathon this year as part of a 70.3 triathlon and at the beginning of October I ran my first full marathon – a distance I never thought I could physically run. What happened? I bought a Garmin Forerunner 15 watch to help motivate me to train and surprised myself by going from 5km to a marathon within a year!
I’ve always wanted to do a half marathon and tick that off my bucket list. Then depending on how that went, *maybe* work my way up to attempting a marathon. However, running has not been (and still isn’t really) a sport that comes naturally to me. Last year I was sporadically going to the local 5km parkrun on Saturday mornings and would literally be physically exhausted at the end of it. Wiped out to the point where I would look like I was going to faint and people would be asking me if I was okay. Some days I would then be completely written off for the entire afternoon after running that 5km!
A year ago I would never have thought I’d be able to run all those half marathons and tick off the marathon distance from my bucket list. It’s taken time, consistent training to build up strength and stamina and some good training buddies to motivate me so I can now run much longer distances on a weekly basis.
I’m a bit of a competitive person and with that comes the need to see how and where I’m improving. At the end of last year I was thinking about triathlons but with running being my major weakness knew I would have to improve. I’ve always wanted a GPS watch but couldn’t ever justify the cost. At Christmas time I had a bit of extra cash so decided to bite the bullet and bought the Forerunner 15 to help me with my running training. I’ve not regretted it for one minute!
For running, the Garmin Forerunner 15 is fantastic. I liked the bright colours available (I bought the aqua one), and found it easy to use. The screen is bright even at night time and it’s easy to switch between screens to see distance, time, pace etc. Although it’s not technically designed for multi-sports, I have also used it to keep track of bike rides and even open water swims (yes it’s waterproof). The step tracker works well also if you wear it regularly. Garmin have their own app Garmin Connect for keeping track of your fitness, but I’m ‘slightly’ addicted to Strava so love how it automatically syncs any of my runs straight there.
My only criticism would be that it can take a while to pick up the GPS signal at times – particularly in areas where there are lots of trees or high buildings. Apart from that, it does everything you need a running watch to do. Now that I’m doing longer distance triathlons and multi-sport endurance events, I’ve outgrown the Forerunner 15 and bought myself a new lovely Garmin as a birthday present!
It’s a fantastic watch for running training and was useful to help me train and keep an eye on pace in preparation for the Chester Marathon. I certainly didn’t train quite as much as I ‘should’ have, but it’s about giving it a go. My main aim for Chester Marathon was to finish (ideally in under 5 hours) and prove to myself that I could run the distance – with the long-term plan of signing up for a full ironman!
Considering how little training I did for the distance, I was very happy with a 4hr 34 minute finish. Next time I’ll make sure I train a bit more thoroughly and don’t spend the months before travelling, eating and drinking my way through various countries!
NB. The Garmin Forerunner 15 watch was my own purchase.